(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

When Robert H. Schuller wrote his autobiography, My Journey: From an Iowa Farm to a Cathedral of Dreams (2001), at the age of seventy-five, he thought it would be his last book. However, he realized that being in what he called the fourth quarter of his life gave him a new perspective. He looked back on his life and discovered that he had always lived for tomorrow. While he planned in the present, the action that transformed those plans into reality took place in the future, his tomorrow.

This new perspective revealed to Schuller how many people throw away their future, and he decided to pass along the benefits of his knowledge and experience in a new book, Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow. Schuller writes that this book is his “testimony” on how to stay focused on dreams and how not to throw away the future.

According to Schuller, people throw away their tomorrow by not being ready to receive ideas as they come along, not accepting challenges and working through problems that arise, letting priorities get skewed, and letting goals get distorted. Other reasons he believes people throw away their tomorrow include being disappointed, tired, rejected, afraid to fail, and frustrated. The result is that people lose control of their lives and are influenced by negative thinking. With God’s help, people can use what Schuller calls possibility thinking to save their tomorrow.

“Positive thinking plus possibility thinking equals optimism” is a formula Schuller has developed to transform people into optimists. He believes that an optimist who believes in God has the power to do or to become anything and anyone that person wishes. The formula begins with positive thinking because it is necessary to first eliminate negative thinking and to develop a positive attitude. Possibility thinking, the next element in the formula, puts the dream into action. The result of these two elements coming together is optimism, which begins, continues with, and...

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(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Sources for Further Study

Booth, Mark, ed. What I Believe: Thirteen Eminent People of Our Time Argue for Their Philosophy of Life. New York: Crossroad, 1984. This book presents Schuller’s philosophy of life along with those of other notables such as Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Martin Sheen, James Thurber, and H. G. Wells.

Schuller, Robert H. My Journey: From an Iowa Farm to a Cathedral of Dreams. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Schuller’s inspirational autobiography tells of his successes and the painful ordeals he and his family experienced and overcame by turning them into possibilities.

Schuller, Robert H. Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People Do! New York: Bantam-Random, 1983. In Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow, Schuller recommends that people read or reread this work, in which he tells how to weather hard times and how to build a positive self-image.